Category Archives: Music News

Lyrical Analysis: “Rap God” by Eminem

The latest track released from the forthcoming Marshall Mathers LP2, “Rap God,” has turned much of the general public against the self-proclaimed “immortal rap god,” Eminem.  This is primarily due to the second half of the second verse of the aforementioned song, where Eminem mentions a homophobic slur while discussing a “little gay looking boy.”  While this bit may be construed as offensive, it is not nearly as insulting as the remark that Drake and J. Cole made in “Jodeci Freestyle” regarding Autism being synonymous with retardation.

To be fair, Drake and J. Cole have since publicly apologized and removed the offensive line from the song. Conversely, it does not seem as though Eminem will respond to the public in an equally respectable manner.  This assumption is supported by another quote: “See if I get away with it now that I ain’t as big as I was.” That line followed Eminem’s recollection of a line regarding the Columbine shooting from “I’m Back,” off of Marshall Mathers LP[1].  The 41-year-old rapper seems to be making a point to show that he still has that inner rage and angst fueling his real rhymes. After all, insults, true stories, real emotions, and the ability to spit a rhyme are what brought him to fame in the first place.  The last element is also clearly exhibited in “Rap God” via his lightning speed rapping about halfway into the track.

The main concept of the song is to show new school rappers that they need to take lessons from the old school.  Between the lyrics and their verbal execution, Eminem surely makes his point and offers momentous opportunities for backlash from the media, the general public, and other musicians, specifically in the hip-hop scene.

 

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[Song Review] The Bloodline – “The Blackout”

Since the acquisition of Divine Heresy vocalist Travis Neal, there has been a great deal of change in the camp of the band formerly known as Dirge Within. Perhaps, these changes are for the better as “The Blackout” is very different from and arguably more enjoyable than much of the Dirge Within material.

There were undoubtedly some great songs from Dirge Within. Having owned Force Fed Lies since 2009, it can be said that it was an awesome debut album.  The group’s sophomore effort, 2012’s There Will Be Blood, was also a solid release from top to bottom.  However, while the Dirge Within tunes were well-composed and very pleasing on metalhead ears, it was somewhat generic. The band’s rebirth as The Bloodline offers a sense of refreshment in a scene crowded with too much of the same.

Judging from “The Blackout,” the loss of original Dirge Within vocalist Jeremy “Jerms” Genske had a positive outcome.  Therefore, depending on personal opinions, long-time fans may not, in fact, miss Jerms, as suggested in this Artist of Week article from March 8, 2013.

This first song released by The Bloodline maintains the groove Dirge Within founding member and guitarist Shaun Glass (Broken Hope, ex- SOiL) has incorporated into each of his projects.  However, “The Blackout” is much more melodic than any Dirge Within song with Jerms on vocals due to both more instrumental melody and more vocally talented clean singing.

“The Blackout” sounds a bit reminiscent of Trivium and Killswitch Engage, which is a compliment more than anything.  The instrumentation is undeniably heavy metal while the vocals hover over the thin line between hard rock and metal.  That is not to say that it would sound weak to a metalhead.  In fact, it is extremely well-composed and offers a strong proverbial fist to the face.

For more on The Bloodline, check out their Facebook page.

 

Photo courtesy of The Bloodline’s Facebook page.

 


In Memoriam: Deftones’ Chi Cheng (7/20/70 – 4/13/13)

After four years of battling death in a comatose state, Deftones bassist Chi Cheng lost his war Saturday night.

While death is never a happy event, Cheng seemed to have left this world on a positive note.  According to the NBCnews.com Entertainment blog, Cheng’s mother sang songs he liked into his ear as he departed.

In 2008, Cheng suffered serious injuries from a head-on vehicle collision, during which he was thrown out of his seat.  Until Saturday, he had since been in a coma.

Immediately following the official statements, Internet users across the globe offered their condolences.  Despite his four year absence from music, friends and fans alike hoped he would recover and potentially return to making music with his beloved band members.

Unfortunately, that was not the case.  After performing on five Deftones records and one solo spoken word album, Chi Cheng passed away at age 42.

This is truly a sad event, especially since he was still young.  However, he proved to everyone on this earth that it is possible to fight for one’s life.  He fought for four years.

If you take just one thing away from this article, let it be the strength and persistence that Chi Cheng put forth to keep the hopes of his friends, family, and fans alive.

Rest in peace.


In Memoriam: Suicide Silence’s Mitch Lucker (10/20/84 – 11/1/12)

As many people know by now, Mitch Lucker, lead vocalist of extreme metal band, Suicide Silence, was killed in a motorcycle crash this past Thursday, November 1st.  The dude was only 28 years old! I am 23, so I’m not much younger, which makes it that much scarier and hard-hitting to me.

Lucker’s death is not only a hard hit to the metal community, but to the minds of the general public.  Twenty-eight is no longer the age of a full-grown adult.  Today, many thirty year olds are still trying to find jobs and start lives of their own.  Also, the average life span has extended so much over the years.  It is no longer unheard of for a person dying at age 100.

Lucker had a whole life ahead of him.  I would like to further note that I come from a small suburban town that has lost five young people, all younger than Mitch, in the time span of five years.  So, I personally know the severity of young deaths.  Still, Mitch seemed like a good guy.  After seeing Suicide Silence with Machine Head at the Palladium, I was thoroughly impressed by his passion for his music and his power of winning over his crowd at live shows, and most likely anywhere he went.

With all that said, I send my thoughts out to all of Mitch’s loved ones.  Rest in peace, young man.


This Day in Music [2011]: Amy Winehouse

As can be found listed on www.thisdayinmusic.com/, one year ago today, on July 23, 2011, Amy Winehouse was found dead in her home in London.  Since she was relatively renowned, especially in terms of her notoriety with her substance abuse, the internet blew up with news, comments, etc. regarding her death.  Everyday conversations began including her as it happens with most celebrity deaths.

Winehouse’s death was further interesting, though, in regards to her age at the time.  She was 27 years old when she was found dead.  Therefore, she was in good company with the rest of the “27 Club,” most notably including Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones, Kurt Cobain, and several others.

Without much familiarity with her music, it is difficult to bear an adequate tribute to Winehouse and her work.  However, condolences and respect are extended to Winehouse and her loved ones.  Stay strong on this first anniversary of Amy’s passing.


Thoughts on Bonnaroo 2012 Lineup

This year’s lineup for the annual Bonnaroo festival was recently announced, and I figured I would offer my thoughts on the subject:

I have never been to Bonnaroo, nor have I been on a road trip of any kind.  However, after seeing this lineup, I might have two first’s come June 7th-10th.  While I do not know a good portion of the artists listed, most of the ones I do know, I really like.

Red Hot Chili Peppers are listed as one of the headliners.  They are also hitting the TD Garden in May.  It may be cooler to see them at Bonnaroo, though, especially when a bunch of other artists I like will also be playing.

Of the artists I know, the ones I am particularly excited for include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Childish Gambino, Ludacris, Foster the People, Young the Giant, Delta Spirit, and Kvelertak.

With the exceptions of Young the Giant and Delta Spirit, I have never witnessed any of the above acts in a live setting.  I saw Young the Giant open for Incubus this past September.  They were great live and I have since purchased their album and grown a stronger bond with their music.  As for Delta Spirit, I experienced their live show at a Dr. Dog show a couple years back.  I didn’t know how I felt about them at first, because I was still strictly into mostly metal at that time.  I have more recently diversified my music taste much more extensively.  For that reason, I believe I would be able to appreciate Delta Spirit more so than when I saw them with Dr. Dog, despite the fact that I did enjoy their music.

Red Hot Chili Peppers are classic and pretty self-explanatory.

Last fall, one of my good buddies introduced me to Childish Gambino.  This guy is extremely talented with everything he does.  Comedy fans might know him as Donald Glover and/or recognize him from the TV show, Community, or the “Bro Rape” satirical video on YouTube.  This dude is incredible with anything he touches, especially his music under the moniker of Childish Gambino.  I NEED to see him live.  I missed his headlining show at the House of Blues in November, so this needs to be fixed.

I woke up yesterday morning before I even knew about the lineup, singing Ludacris songs for some reason.  I thought to myself, “What ever happened to Ludacris?”  Soon afterwards, I learned that he would be at Bonnaroo this year.  He should hopefully be a good live act.

I have Foster The People’s album, Torches, and love it, so I am excited to potentially seeing them live.

Kvelertak is a Norwegian metal band with the catchiest riffs.  I know about them via my former position as metal director at WBIM.  I received their record as promo last year and really enjoyed it.

One more act I didn’t mention is Yelawolf.  One of my best friends really likes Yelawolf.  He says that the rapper is ‘so bad that he’s good.’  Hmm… We’ll see.

Overall, I think this is a fantastic lineup and I truly hope I can find a way to get there this year.  Money might be an issue..

Thanks for reading!

Here is the lineup:

http://lineup.bonnaroo.com/


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